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Cot beds Cots A cot will probably be your baby's bed until he is two years or three years old. It should be strong and sturdy without cracked or broken slats, with no jagged points or edges.

If you are buying a new cot, it should conform to BS EN This standard ensures that the cot is deep enough to be safe for your baby, that the bars are the correct distance apart, and that the cot does not have cut-outs or steps.

If your cot is second-hand or borrowed, make sure the distance between each bar is no less than 2.

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You should not be able to fit a soft-drink can between the slats. This is to prevent your baby's head from slipping between the bars.

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You can use your cot from the day your baby is born, if you like. However, many parents choose a Moses basket, crib, or carrycot for the first few months, or have their babies in the same bed as them. This is often because a newborn baby can look and feel a little lost in a big cot.

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  • Cots can be expensive, so you may want to think about buying one second-hand. Oval-shaped cots can often be later converted into a junior bed , chairs, or even a sofa. You can also buy bedside cots that fit right up against your bed. This can be useful for night-time feeds. Most cots have drop sides and an adjustable base height to make it easier to lift your baby in and out as he grows.

    Most cots have two or three different base heights, but two heights are all you really need. Many cots also have a teething rail, which is a protective plastic coating around the edges, to prevent your baby chewing on the wooden slats of the cot when he is older.

    Pros You can use the cot as soon as you bring your baby home.

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  • Your baby can sleep in his cot for two years or even three years. Cons Cots are often not easily transportable from room to room. Newborn babies can look very lost in a large cot. Choosing a cot that has wheels on the bottom is a good idea if you want to be able to move it from one room to another. Cot beds Cot beds are longer and wider than standard cots. Their main advantage is that they can be converted into a junior bed when your toddler outgrows his cot.

    Plus, the simple grey colour and inoffensive design means it'll look just as stylish propped up in your own home as it will during sleepovers in other peoples houses. New Littlewoods Home Insurance customers only. When it comes to choosing a cot bed, forget about price to begin with.

    They do not usually have drop sides and not all versions have different mattress positions. Pros Cot beds provide a spacious sleeping environment from newborn to toddler and beyond. Cons Not really a money-saver if you plan to have another baby soon, as you will need to buy another cot. No drop side means it can be more difficult to get your baby in and out.

    Find out the safest place to put your baby's cot, and get more sleep safety tips in our expert video on baby sleep. April NCT nd. Sleeping safely in a cot.

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